Children learn measures to take before winter strikes
Winter can be a fun time for kids to play outdoors, but when snow hits the ground -- particularly on roads -- there are certain guidelines to follow. Each year, David Hale takes time to educate children about snowplow safety in both schools and at the Town of Manlius Highway Department, where he has been employed as a motor equipment operator for 20 years.
His recurrent message: Stay away from the road.
"If they're building snow forts, stay away from the road," Hale said. "If they see us coming, wave and let us know that you see us and we see you. Make eye contact. Not only with us, but also with all [drivers]: school buses, fire trucks and cars in general. Don't play near the road."
DeWitt Highway Superintendent Brian Maxwell said children are not the only ones who need to be educated on snowplow safety; the entire driving public needs to be informed.
"Accidents are caused by people taking chances around plows," said Maxwell, referring to impatient drivers who refuse to be stuck behind a truck. "This puts them, their passengers, pedestrians and our operators at risk."
Hale and other highway department employees visit schools in the Fayetteville-Manlius School District as well as in the East Syracuse-Minoa District. To find out more about its snowplow program, contact the highway department at 656-3090 or visit townofmanlius.org/departments/highwaydept.aspx.